Monday, January 19, 2009

Single Mom

Ann Coulter always has something to shriek about and the latest object of her wrath is the "single mom". Well, I don't think that it's the single mom as much as it is the utopian government social engineering that produces the single mom. And she's very much right.

In the fabulous '50's, when a young single woman or girl became pregnant, she was often spirited off to some charity establishment, a relative's home some distance away or another option of which I'm not aware. After a passage of time she returned and life went on. There were few single moms as we know them today, except for widows and the rare divorcee. An unmarried woman with a child had a tough life ahead of her.

At the same time, sexual promiscuity, a term seldom heard these days, wasn't nearly as common as it is now. Single men with good jobs were a hot commodity, co-workers introduced their sisters to guys with a good paycheck. And they tried to make sure that their sister wasn't compromised by some cad.

Not any more. The post-sixties government decided that a system that had worked for at least several millenia wasn't getting the job done. There really couldn't be anything wrong with casual sex, after all everybody did it, and these single mothers couldn't provide for the child on their own, the situation isn't the child's fault, it's all about the children. So, two things happened. Social welfare programs were set up to provide for these fatherless children and legal mechanisms were instituted to capture support payments from the fathers. Everything's O.K. now, right?

Well, maybe not. There are almost half a million children involved in child support payments in Minnesota. A big city full of fatherless children. How come? Because you get what you pay for. There's no impetus for a woman with children, married or single, to stay with a man when she get a state mandated income by leaving him. When a mother shows up at the welfare office to initiate child support, there isn't any, "Look, you and Floyd had a little argument, go home and talk it over, " by the case worker. It's " Sign here, sign here." And the future is determined. Now these "sex without marriage" women are heroes. Subsidized by the government.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

No Hall of Fame for Bert. . . .maybe ever.

Another winter sludges by with the same results, the baseball scribes ignore the sterling career of the one and only Bert Blyleven and neglect to select the curveballer for enshrinement in Cooperstown. Big deal. They (the writers) don't seem to understand that if Bert isn't in the Hall (and Jim Kaat, as well, for that matter) then the Hall just doesn't mean all that much. The Dutchman can console himself with the fact that of all the players that have competed at the major league level, he's the best of those not in the Hall of Fame.

Consider: W-L 287-250
ERA 3.31
Career strikeouts 3701
Career starts 692
Shutouts 60
No hitter 1
American League Rookie of the Year 1970
Comeback Player of the Year 1989
World Series Championships 2
Major League Seasons 22

A very interesting feature of Blyleven's career is the fact that he was the opening day pitcher on eleven different occasions for five different teams.

The Transition

Pictured: Cass Sunstein & Samantha Power, married Obama appointees

It's time for the quadrennial transition, when the appointees of the outgoing administration are flushed from the corner offices of power and replaced by the sycophants of the new guy. Who are these people? Well, some of them are "careerist appointees", those who have done time with previous adminstations (Leon Panetta), failed incumbents (Tom Daschle), and power mad would-be kings (or queens, Hillary Clinton). Others are academicians whose ideas get an enthusiastic reception by the new guy and his disciples. Regardless of which of these or other categories the new appointees occupy, they almost all have one thing in common: they are attorneys.

And this is what the U.S. has become, a country that, for reasons that make no real sense, is run by and for the legal professional. This is actually the result of a plan that was advocated by no less the the man on the ten dollar bill, Alexander Hamilton. Historian Paul Johnson calls Hamilton's vision a "nomiocracy". And so it is.

For most of human existence, when a person got up in the morning, his primary concern for the rest of the day was to remain on convivial terms with the reigning deity and his local representative, the priest. This is the case even now across much of the world. The local superstition has complicated rules that govern every form of human behavior and social interaction. However, the secular society of America has taken a more modern tack. Rather than obey the commands of an invisible master and his corporeal agents, Americans have put themselves at the mercy of the graduates of legal diploma mills. These new priests make the rules by their presence in legislative bodies and interpret them in the courtrooms. They are involved in virtually every aspect of our existence and exact a tax on the same by their activity. No other country on earth attempts to support a similar group of drones.

Additionally, we supposedly are all wanting a national health care system. And why? Because a serious health issue can not only be expensive, it can bankrupt a family. Exactly the same is true of legal problems. Why not national legal insurance?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Clothes People Wear

It first occurred to me outside of Ft. Lauderdale. Sitting in "La Carretera", having a fabulous Cuban lunch, I noticed a burly fellow walk in the door. He was wearing what appeared to be a regular Miami Dolphins game jersey with I think the number "54" and the name "Thomas" on the back. If memory serves, that would be the shirt worn during games by celebrated linebacker Zack Thomas. However, the person wearing that shirt could be almost any person on earth, except the person who would be wearing it during a game later that day. I just find that real weird.

Anyway, when riding my bike I usually wear knickers with some kind of garish knee socks. My kids think I'm "goofy". If I stop at the market, which, when you travel only by bike, you must do quite often, I notice some odd looks from passers-by. Why should that be? I'm not wearing a football or hockey uniform out on the street. With someone else's name on it. I display no tatoos or skin penetrations by odd pieces of metal. I'm not wearing trainers with odd stripes and colors. So what's so strange about plus fours, which have been a normal part of male attire for hundreds of years, just not right now?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

She's Stupid!

A family conversation over Christmas reinforced one of the most common features of the American political landscape, the denigration of the intelligence of conservatives. Utopians routinely describe individuals with whom they disagree as "stupid". In this particular case, that individual was Sarah Palin. Now, I don't really know Sarah Palin. Never met her, never talked to her, don't have a T.V. so my exposure to her verbal shenanigans is limited. I really don't have a basis on which to evaluate her brain. My relatives apparently do, though. None of them have met her or talked to her, either, but each of them seemed to feel that she was "stupid". This is of a piece with the same things that were broadcast about the "amiable dunce" Reagan, Dan Quayle, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush as well. Evidently, the supposedly rational population of this democracy is able to form an opinion on the intelligence of a candidate on the basis of heavily edited television interviews, scripted speeches and media commentary. Maybe that's how we should determine the I.Q. of everyone. Interviews broadcast on You Tube could be used for job applications or, for that matter, employment evaluations. Do you suppose school teachers would accept a job evaluation based on an edited, televised interview with an adverserial moderator?

Another aspect of the "stupid" claim for Palin is the ranking of educational experience. Obama is part of the supposed "intellectual elite" of the Ivy League and Harvard. Mentally challenged Palin went to school in Idaho so she can't possibly be smart enough to figure in national politics. The idea that a small circle of institutions in the Northeast nurture the most intelligent people in the country is beyond preposterous and an insult to 99% of Americans, whether they realize it or not. In fact, that is one of the most pernicious thoughts in the U.S. today. The graduates of these hallowed halls naturally buy in to the fable, but why should everyone else?